More than 80 per cent of the UK public has said that the secondary market is a “rip off,” according to a new AudienceNet/Music Ally consumer survey.
The study, commissioned by anti-touting campaign group FanFair Alliance, highlighted the depth of the public’s concern with mass scale touting via platforms such as Viagogo, StubHub, GetMeIn! and Seatwave.
Sixty-seven percent of those who purchased above-face-value tickets from one of the sites said they would attend fewer concerts in the future, while 60 per cent said they would go to fewer festivals.
It added that paying inflated prices would deter 47 per cent of fans from spending any more on recorded music, while 58 per cent would spend less on food and drink at venues.
The survey, which was also supported by UK companies See Tickets, The Ticket Factory and Twickets, also found that 52 per cent of people struggled to distinguish between authorised primary ticket sellers and unauthorised secondary sites.
FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb said: “The message from this research appears to be pretty clear: UK audiences are fed up. The model of secondary ticketing promoted by Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave is causing them very real concern – albeit, they are not against the concept of ticket resale.
“The majority would like the option to resell a ticket for the price they paid for it, and they’re in favour of measures to curb mass-scale online ticket touting. On that front, FanFair urges legislators and regulators to accelerate their endeavours to tackle the most egregious practices of the secondary market.”
Google was the first port of call to search for tickets for 43 per cent of respondents, despite previous research by FanFair Alliance highlighting that secondary sites’ advertising spend means they dominate top search rankings.
Resale platforms need to be more transparent and show more detail about the identity of those re-selling tickets, according to 82 per cent of respondents, while the vast majority support precautionary measures to prevent ticket touting, including the provision of authorised resale services (87%), limiting ticket purchases (80%), and personalised tickets with ID checks (75%).
Rob Wilmshurst, chief executive at operator See Tickets, said: “Touts aren’t just responsible for massively inflating prices, they are also as the research shows chipping away at the public’s confidence in the live music industry. Buying a ticket for an act you really want to see should be exciting but touts are turning this into a fraught, overpriced and desperate experience for a lot of people.”
The UK government passed new legislation in April to criminalise the mass online harvesting of tickets by touts, as well as new measures to bolster existing UK consumer law and provide enforcement resources for National Trading Standards.
A Competition & Markets Authority investigation into online secondary ticketing, announced in December 2016, is ongoing.